Health Fact Corner from the Saint James Health Ministry:

Crystal Richburg Oliver, Ministry Leader


Did you know stress can affect every aspect of your body?


Stress: Anything from simple everyday living influences of work, family, social media events, news coverage of crime events nearby or relatable to us and even the political race.  It’s enough to bring about a whole host of emotions from fear, anxiety to depression.  Stress can contribute to adverse or negative effects on our bodies.  Headaches, heartburn, irritability, constant tiredness, weight loss/gain, hives, heart attacks and strokes to name a few.  The experience of witnessing traumatic events on tv or in real time and/or repeated emotional stress, lasting weeks or months can cause great distress, weakening the immune system and leaving one feeling helpless and hopeless.

Stress doesn’t always have to be negative though.  Stress can motivate one to perform better. Here are some healthy suggestions to de stress or lessen the stressful effects on your body.

1.      Learn to minimize, remove, let go… Create a priority list of what’s necessary on a day to day level.  Recognize what needs can wait until another day.  Develop a not now mentality.

2.      Decrease the noise in your life.  Shut the television/radio off and enjoy a moment of stillness/peace.  Meditate/pray…Take a moment to deep breathe and release, embracing what you can control and accepting what you cannot. 

3.      Remember to get adequate sleep.  Inadequate sleep can increase irritability, susceptibility to illnesses and can lead to depression.  Try to achieve 6-8 hours of sleep/day and even take a page from raising toddlers and fit in a nap!  Rejuvenate your mind/body and notice how much more effective and pleasant you can handle or look at life afterwards.

4.      Physical activity.  To some, the thought alone can bring about stress. How? When? It doesn’t have to be hard! Park your car a little farther than usual when at the mall or the grocery store.  Dance with yourself when no one is looking…. turn up the music in the car, home, shower and sing aloud or chair dance, practice those dance moves.  Just move!  Surprisingly, physical activity can enhance and bring forth good/pleasurable emotions.  Try it!

5.      Laughing.  Give yourself permission to just laugh! Laugh at yourself, laugh at life!  Turn on an old/new comedy show/movie and sit back and belly laugh. It helps with calmness and antianxiety, relaxing the whole body for at least 45 minutes later.  Laughter is good/strong medicine! It helps to boost the immune system.  Receive the benefits and laugh!    

6.      Aromatherapy:  Ever walk past a familiar scent that evokes or stimulates a pleasant emotion?  Like apple pie?  Essential oils are concentrated liquids from plants, flowers, leaves, roots that produce a unique scent and can treat different conditions.  Cinnamon (reduces drowsiness and irritability), Chamomile (depression), Peppermint (aids in digestion), Ylang Ylang (relaxes the mind/body), Jasmine (calms nerves and treats depression and insomnia) and Orange (alters moods and lowers high blood pressure).                                                                                                                                                              
























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